Sydney Destination Guide
Sydney. It's the Australia you see in Hollywood movies – all sweeping shots of a glistening harbour and tanned bodies lazing on the iconic Bondi Beach. From the Opera House to the Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and Centrepoint Tower, all of the icons are here. As the oldest and largest city in Australia, Sydney proudly shines bright as the place tourists and locals want to be. It's a city and beach in one. A multicultural playground where history abounds and the country's rich and famous reside. Beloved as much for its sunny weather as it is for its sunny lifestyle, if Sydney doesn't charm you with its charisma, it'll seduce you with its beauty.
Most travellers looking for things to do in Sydney will start at Circular Quay on the iconic harbour. Here you can tour Australia's most recognizable landmark, the Sydney Opera House, or scale new highs with the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Also on the shores of the Sydney Harbour, just a ferry ride away is the famous Taronga Zoo, where you can see giraffes and Asian elephants wandering in front of a backdrop of the city skyline. The Sydney Aquarium is another popular attraction located on Darling Harbour and is home to 13,000 animals from 7000 different species. If Sydney's weather is sunny, join the locals for a swim at the iconic Bondi Beach or Palm Beach, the set of the world famous TV show Home & Away.
For a meal with a view, few Sydney restaurants can beat the idyllic setting of those found at Circular Quay, except maybe the celebrity favourite Icebergs restaurant that overlooks Bondi Beach. Away from the water the historic setting of The Rocks is home to some magnificent restaurants such as Quay and Neil Perry's Rockpool. For something more lax, head out of the city to suburbs like Potts Point and Surry Hills. Some cheap and cheerful dining favourites to try include Bangbang Espresso in Surry Hills and Macleay St Bistro in Points Point. Kings Cross may be Sydney's infamous nightlife strip but it's not the only place to go for a beverage. Try a drop at some of the eclectic establishments around Surry Hills such as Absinthe Salon or the Cricketers Arms Hotel.
From chain hotels in the CBD to holiday apartments at Bondi, Sydney accommodation is as diverse as its suburbs. If its luxury you seek then you may want to splurge on a room at Sheraton on the Park or Park Hyatt at the Rocks – Sydney's most expensive hotel. The further out of the CBD you stay, the cheaper the price tag. If you don't mind the slight commute, hotels in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills offer affordable luxury, while Kings Cross and Glebe are great for budget accommodation and hostels. For an ocean view, Bondi, Coogie and Double Bay are home to a range of resorts, hotels and apartments. Outside of Sydney, head to the Blue Mountains where resorts and B&Bs are common.
Though Melbourne may lay claim to be Australia's fashion capital, when it comes to shopping Sydney is the undisputed champion. Start your Sydney shopping adventure at the Pitt Street Mall, home to dozens of department and specialty stores including the celebrated Westfield Sydney as well as the iconic Strand Arcade. Dating back to 1981, the Strand Arcade has long been a premier shopping building in Sydney with leading labels such as Sass & Bide, Lover and Alex Perry setting up shop in its halls. The city's other designer precinct is located at the trendy Intersection in Paddington, while vintage and quirky wares with a lower price that can be found in Newton.
Sydney like a Local
Sydneysiders may love their beaches – but they love their pools more. As a result, the city has numerous swimming pools open to the public to enjoy. At the top of your to–try list should be the pool at Icebergs, a Sydney intuition and one of the only licensed swimming pools in the world. Come for the pool–side cocktails, stay for the view. If you'd rather swim laps, you can do so under the Sydney Harbour Bride at the North Sydney Pool, while the Bronte Baths, with its neighbouring train ride circuit, are perfect for families.